The holidays often hold a special place in the hearts of children and their parents alike. For divorced or separated parents, however, this period can inspire stress as they navigate the intricacies of sharing time with their children. An effective parenting plan that specifically addresses holiday arrangements can be the key to ensuring peaceful and memorable celebrations for everyone involved.
A comprehensive parenting plan extends beyond an “ordinary” day-to-day custody schedule. Holidays, given their significance, can be addressed by including specific provisions related to them in a family’s parenting plan. When crafting holiday terms, there are a few things that parents will want to keep in mind.
Scheduling: rotating holidays or splitting the days?
There are multiple ways to share holidays, and the “best” method depends on a particular family’s individual circumstances. Some parents opt for a yearly rotation, where one parent gets their child for Thanksgiving this year, and the other has them the next. Others might choose to split the day, especially for holidays like Christmas, where the morning could be spent with one parent and the evening with the other.
Clearly defining expectations in a family’s plan can help to prevent confusion and last-minute disagreements. This effort can also make it easier for everyone to know what to expect, which can empower parents to plan and lower everyone’s stress levels across the board.
While it’s vital to have clear terms set out in one’s parenting plan, life is unpredictable. Including a flexibility clause, where parents can mutually agree to temporary changes, can be beneficial. This approach allows for adaptability in unforeseen circumstances or if both parents decide on a different arrangement for a particular year.
Ultimately, a well-thought-out parenting plan that addresses holiday arrangements helps to ensure that, despite the changes in a family’s dynamic, the festive spirit remains undiminished for the children. Those who are unsure about how to craft a plan that addresses their unique needs can always seek legal guidance and support.